Vacation and Home Energy Saving Tips

vacation and home energy saving tips

Easy home energy saving tips to make your house more efficient

RV road trips. Beaches and sand. Theme parks and resorts.

Many families plan summer getaways to reconnect with family and friends, enjoy outdoor sights and activities, and take a break from the daily grind. What they don’t often plan for is arriving back home to a high energy bill. Some incorrectly assume if no one is home that the utility bills will automatically be lower due to lack of appliance use. Some simply forget to turn things off before they leave. It’s easy to overlook some of these tasks during the planning and excitement of embarking on a long overdue trip. To make it easy, we’ve compiled a list of vacation and home energy saving tips so you can check these off your to-do list and enjoy some well-deserved, worry-free family time.

7 Vacation and Home Energy Saving Tips


  1. Turn off all fans

Fans cool people, not rooms.


  1. Use a Wi-Fi thermostat

Set up a vacation schedule on your Sensi™ Wi-Fi Programmable Thermostat or use the mobile app to adjust the house temperature when away and set it back on your way home so it is comfortable upon arrival.


  1. Lower water heater temperature

Turn down the water heater temperature, turn it off, or put it in vacation mode.


  1. Unplug appliances and power strips

Phantom power suckers are all around you, hiding in the smallest electric appliance, draining power so slowly you might not even notice them. These standby suckers can account for 10-20% of your electric bill. (Learn more about energy vampires.)


  1. Turn off the lights or automate home lighting

Set lighting to a timer or use smart lighting you can adjust from your phone to keep tempted burglars at bay.


  1. Set refrigerator temperature to 40°F

Clean your fridges of any food that might spoil in your absence. For food that is left, 40°F is the lowest recommended temperature to keep food safe from bacterial growth. (Read more on refrigeration and food safety.)


  1. Use heat-blocking shades or curtains

Curtain and tapestry fabric “seals” will help to keep the cold air in and the warm air out to keep your energy bill low.


Use these vacation energy savings tips as a handy checklist to lower home energy use so you have more money to put toward future family getaways.

Save on Energy-Efficient Home Appliances

energy-efficient home appliances

You might qualify for rebates on energy-efficient home appliances

Energy-efficient home appliances appeal to many homeowners who want to save money on the rising cost of utility bills and also to support the environment by consuming less energy and having a smaller carbon footprint. Financial incentives and rebate programs can help to offset the initial purchase cost, but many people buy without even knowing that they were eligible for these savings. In some cases, you could be eligible for a rebate or a tax credit on home appliances you’ve already purchased.

Below are some places to check for rebates or other savings programs on energy-saving home appliances before you buy.

Federal Savings

Search by state on for information on tax credits, rebates, and savings from government agencies and a host of other sources. Enter your zip code at to find rebates and other special offers in your area.

Local Utility Programs

Many local utilities offer incentives to consumers to purchase energy-efficient home appliances and can sometimes even remove old appliances at no cost to the customer.

Retailer Sites

Major national retailers often have dedicated pages to help you find available rebates for energy-saving home appliances in your area.

Manufacturer Sites

Visit the manufacturer brand site to see if they have any temporary price-savings or rebate programs available. Sensi™ Wi-Fi Programmable Thermostat makes it easy for you to find available savings programs in your area. Simply visit


Purchasing energy saving home appliances is an investment that will pay off in the long run. Knowing where to save money before you buy can help to lessen some of your short-term budget concerns.

Prepare Your Home to Face the Summer Heat

summer heat

Don’t let summer heat up your energy bill

Summer 2016 is already already predicting to be a hot one and that has many homeowners working up a sweat. Not just from the higher temperatures but also from the anticipation of the first utility bill after the summer heat starts to take hold. Don’t let that bill blindside you! Do these easy tasks now to prepare your home to face the summer heat and increase energy efficiency.

10 Summer Energy Savings Tips

  1. Change the air filter

A simple task that can help make sure your air conditioning is ready for the increased workload from the sweltering summer heat. Click here to learn more about why you need to change the air filter.


  1. Wash your outdoor AC unit

Clear away any excess weeds and plants growing by and around the outside unit. Consult your manual and turn off the power before cleaning. If you haven’t performed maintenance in a while, call your local HVAC professional to check all of the parts and connections. Click here to learn about signs you might need a new air conditioner.


  1. Clear the air vents

Cold air can’t get through if the vent is blocked. Vacuum and dust your air vents and make sure the air flow is clear from furniture, drapes, laundry piles, or messy piles from the kids.


  1. Install and use a Wi-Fi thermostat

A programmable thermostat like Sensi™ Wi-Fi Programmable Thermostat delivers precise temperature control. Its convenient mobile app makes it easy to create custom schedules that fit your lifestyle. No more having to remember to adjust the temperature when no one is home! Be sure to invest in a quality product from a brand you can trust. Emerson, the company behind Sensi thermostat, has been manufacturing quality thermostats for more than 75 years. Click here to learn more about the perks of a modern Wi-Fi thermostat.


  1. Seal windows and doors

It’s easier to remember that windows and doors are a huge culprit of energy loss when you can feel the frigid air coming through but hot air can sneak in just as easily. Seal up gaps and fix any cracks in the caulk that might have happened over the winter. If energy-efficient windows aren’t in the budget this year, consider adding heat-blocking window film or sun-reflecting shades to help to reduce summer heat gain.


  1. Reduce your hot water use

Fix leaky pipes, install low-flow showerheads and faucets, use warm or cold temps for laundry, and wash as many dishes as you can by hand.


  1. Turn off the lights

You don’t need extra heat-emitting lightbulbs adding to the summer heat. Remember to turn off lights in rooms that aren’t being used.


  1. Adjust ceiling fan direction

While portable fans and ceiling fans don’t cool rooms (they cool people), they can go a long way in contributing to your home comfort by making it feel cooler. During the summer months, turn the blade direction counter-clockwise to pull the cold air closer to the floor…and you.


  1. Turn off power-sucking appliances

If you have a home device or appliance that gives off a buzzing, humming, or fan sound or is warm to the touch, then you have a phantom power sucker than can drain your energy bill. Since many of us won’t remember to turn off these devices when not in use, a smart power strip can help save energy this summer by shutting off appliances that go into standby mode. Click here to learn more about energy vampires.


  1. Conduct a home energy audit

Many utilities offer home energy audit programs or services. These audits can help homeowners to discover how their individual homes are losing energy and advise on additional steps to take to become more efficient.


When the heat is on, these simple tasks can help you save money this summer.